How to Choose the Right Carpet Pad

Posted in Tips & Trends

Carpet pad

This Old House

Choosing the right type of carpet pad for your carpet installation is almost as important as choosing the carpet itself.  Carpet padding provides warmth and comfort underfoot, as well as makes your room quieter.  Most important, a good quality carpet pad also extends the life of your carpet.  Most carpet manufacturers recommend that you use a 32oz or 40oz felt pad to honor their warranty – another reason to make sure your installation team is knowledgeable & installs the correct cushion under your new carpet.

Carpet pad or cushion comes in three types; felt, rubber and foam.  Each of these types of pads are available in various thicknesses or densities.

Felt or fiber padding is the most common material for carpet pads.  This quality is usually made of synthetic and recycled fibers. However, you can also find felt pads with 100% wool or jute fibers if you want to avoid synthetics. While a 40oz felt pad will give you a softer feel, 32oz is preferred for low pile carpets and maximum carpet life.

Rubber pads such as Double-set or Treadmore Cushion are ideal for commercial spaces, double glue-down installations, and areas where items will be rolled over the carpet, i.e. chairs with casters.  Rubber padding is also preferred for rooms with radiant heat since it has the best thermal insulation properties. This pad is highly recommended for high traffic areas as well as use under low or loop pile carpets.

Foam padding is the most economical, but generally not recommended for most carpets. A bonded or “re-bond” foam pad is better then a simple foam pad, but does not last as long as felt and rubber. Foam padding generally shows traffic patterns quicker over time as well as causes premature wearing of your carpet.

Finally make sure that your carpet has the right thickness of padding. Thicker is Not always better!  Carpet padding that is too soft or thick will inhibit proper stretching of your carpet during installation. It will also contribute to the visual wear of your carpet since the pad will breakdown quicker causing the carpet to ripple over time as well as show “traffic” patterns.

Carpet pad is the foundation of your purchase so always make sure that you are offered the correct pad for your carpet or area rug purchase!




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